Past Book Award Recipients

A selection of the publications that have received the ACC Book Award in the past can be seen here. Click on the images to find out more about the individual books. 

The Book Award Committee welcomes suggestions for books to be reviewed. Please share any titles with Amy Dehan, Chair of the group.

Amy Dehan

Book Award

The American Ceramic Circle Book Award, established in 2005, recognizes English-language publications that advance the study of ceramics, present new scholarship and interpretations, and, in doing so, become important and standard references in the field. 

After the careful review of several worthy books, the ACC Book Award Committee identified this year’s winner as Classic Black: The Basalt Sculpture of Wedgwood and His Contemporaries by Brian D. Gallagher. The volume was published by the Mint Museum in association with D. Giles Ltd. in 2020 to accompany an exhibition of the same title, curated by Gallagher, at the Mint Museum Randolph in Charlotte, North Carolina. ​

Classic Black focuses exclusively on sculptural works in Wedgwood’s black basalt (the refined black stoneware clay body introduced in 1767), especially those with classicizing themes or ornament. In addition to Gallagher’s scholarship, the book includes illuminating essays by Robin Emmerson, Gaye Blake-Roberts and Dr. M.G. Sullivan. By concentrating on the sculptural aspects of Wedgwood’s vast output of black basalt medallions and plaques, busts, figures and wares of every description, Gallagher and his colleagues have provided a new historical and artistic view of this subject matter, making Classic Black an important expansion of the existing literature. Handsome and enlightening, this book has great sustainability making it, like Wedgwood’s rich black clay body, a true classic.